Bible Topics: Shyness and Timidity

Definition: Shyness and timidity are the tendency to be self-conscious or uneasy when in the company of others; bashfulness.

1. Some causes of shyness:

* Genesis 3:10,11 [Fear of exposure of wrongdoing:] And he [Adam] said, I heard Thy voice [God’s] in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

* Ezra 9:6 [Shame and guilt for our sins:] And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

* Job 23:15,16 [Being in awe of God:] Therefore am I troubled at His presence: when I consider, I am afraid of Him. 16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me.

* Proverbs 29:25a [Fear of man:] The fear of man bringeth a snare. [See also Isaiah 51:12.]

* Ezekiel 2:6 [Negative peer pressure:] And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

* Matthew 25:24,25 [Lack of faith:] Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew Thee that Thou art an hard man, reaping where Thou hast not sown, and gathering where Thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid Thy talent in the earth: lo, there Thou hast that is Thine.

* 2 Corinthians 10:1 [The difficulty of public speaking as opposed to writing:] Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base [timid] among you, but being absent am bold toward you.

* 2 Timothy 1:7,8a [Spirit of fear:] For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8a Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner.

* 1 John 4:18 [Lack of unselfish love for others, which causes self-conscious:] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

2. Since shyness often comes from fear, faith is the cure, which comes through reading God’s Word and being filled with His Spirit.

* John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

* John 7:38,39a He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39a (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.)

* Acts 4:13 Now when they [the religious leaders] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

* Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

* Ephesians 5:18-20 [Just get full of Jesus and He will help you to forget yourself:] And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Don’t be self-conscious, be Christ-conscious!

* Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.

* Romans 7:18a,24,25a For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing. … 24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25a I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God.

* Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

* 1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

* 1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

* Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

* Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

* Philippians 3:8-10 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.

4. If we are walking in love and seeking to please Jesus, then we shouldn’t worry about what others think or say about us.

* Romans 1:16a For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.

* Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

* Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

* 1 Thessalonians 2:2,4 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God with much contention. … 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

* Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

5. Get busy sharing the Lord and His love with others and you will soon find that He has delivered you from shyness!

* Psalm 119:46 I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

* Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

* Ephesians 6:19,20 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

6. The Bible gives us thrilling examples of men, women and even children whom the Lord helped overcome their shyness so they could go on to do great things for Him.

* Exodus 4:10-12 [If Moses hadn’t yielded his shyness to the Lord, he never would have been able to lead the Exodus:] And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

* Ruth 3:3-5 [If Ruth had been too shy to act upon Naomi’s counsel to present herself to Boaz, how could she have become a forebear of David and Jesus?] Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the [threshing] floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. 4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. 5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

* 1 Samuel 10:21b,22 [Though young Saul was head and shoulders above all others, he was so shy that when Samuel sought him to anoint him king over Israel, Saul hid among the baggage:] And Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found. 22 Therefore they enquired of the Lord further, if the man should yet come thither. And the Lord answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. [See also 1 Samuel 15:17.]

* 1 King 3:7-12 [King Solomon:] And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

* 2 Kings 5:1-3 [One little Hebrew maid wasn’t too shy to speak up for the Lord, and as a result the commander of the Syrian army, Naaman, got healed, and God was glorified:] Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. 2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. 3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.

* Jeremiah 1:6-9 [Young Jeremiah forsook his shyness, and God used him mightily to boldly warn the wicked nation:] Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put My Words in thy mouth.

* John 6:5-11 [If the little lad had been too shy to approach the disciples with his humble offering, the Lord may have never had the opportunity to do the miracle:] When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this He said to prove him: for He Himself knew what He would do. 7 Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto Him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

7. Boldness is a gift of God, so ask for it and by faith you can receive it!

* Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

* Acts 4:29-31 [The apostles prayed for boldness and the Lord miraculously answered:] And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word, 30 By stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy Holy Child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.

* 2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness [boldness] of speech.

* Ephesians 3:12 In Whom [Jesus] we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.

* Hebrews 4:15,16 [Boldly ask for boldness!] For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Copyright (c) 1998 by Aurora Productions

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